A trial has commenced in London to test the UK’s first fully electric refuse collection vehicle (RCV).
It commenced at the end of May and the truck – called Electra – will be used in the Square Mile area of London, specifically around Smithfield.
The trial is the start of the City of London Corporation’s ambition of producing a full fleet of RCVs that have no diesel emissions.
The Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Environment Committee, Jeremy Simons, explained: “This vehicle is the first vehicle in the UK that is a fully electric, low entry refuse collection vehicle.
“It’s fully electric, both for compression of the waste and for powering the vehicle, and crucially – no diesel emissions.
“Our ambition is to have a full fleet of clean refuse vehicles. We are taking responsibility for the cleanliness of all our vehicles, encouraging the use of low and zero emission models with our partners.
“It complements the work we are doing to help City businesses cut back on vehicle deliveries and use more hybrid models.”
The 26-tonne vehicle that is being trialled for two months runs on lithium-ion batteries rather than diesel and is designed to be used in urban environments.
The RCV has the capacity to undertake a 10-hour shift and given the City Corporation’s RCVs collect more than 850 tonnes of cycling every year, the benefits of a fully electric fleet on the environment are huge.
It also continues a pattern where local authorities are looking at different technologies for their waste collection vehicles in the context of the government’s decision to ban new petrol and diesel vehicles in the UK by 2040.
The introduction of the government’s Clean Air Strategy will only emphasise the need for the likes of fully electric vehicles and the use of this RCV on London’s streets will show the clean market alternative to fleets that are currently used in the capital and beyond.